Your emails regarding this web site are appreciated, often enlightening and sometimes inspirational. For instance they inspired this Readers Comments section.
Archived Readers Comments
|January 2003 to December 2003|
Click here to send comments to Paul Keesler
As of May 21, 2005
Why Not Two Books?
You have done enough work for two books. So why not publish two books. Why not just a book of photos. There are enough pictures here for a great photo essay on the Mohawk valley as well. I believe a photo album book would be wildly popular with both sportsmen, naturalists, and anyone who loves the Valley; to say nothing of the tens of thousands who would for the first time discover the beauty of the Mohawk Valley. I am sure you have many other photos that are not in the web page, that are spectacular nonetheless. The Evening Telegram recently published a couple of books in black and white with historical pictures of the Herkimer County. I bet a book of your photos would be absolutely spectacular. JB
Thanks much for your kind words and suggestions. Early on I considered two books, but right now I will be elated to publish just this one book Paul .
Utica's Breweries Used Water from Nail and Ballou Creeks.
Your books are great. Re: the new one. Nail Creek runs thru West Utica---under the brewery---was once dammed and used by the brewery. As late as 1955 we still used the water to wash trucks. Just south of Burrstone Road Bridge, Nail Creek runs - still- thru a lock of the Chenango canal. We used to play there (1950's). Ballou Creek runs thru/under East Utica was similarly used by Ft. Schuyler Brewery. Looking fwd to your new book. In the 1950's we also explored Reall's Creek in North Utica. On a visit last month, I noticed, after rain, considerable flow in Realls. CW
Grateful for the BIP
Thank you so much for what you've done to create your book on the Mohawk Valley. I've explored your
book-in-progress on the web and am so grateful. I'm looking forward to its publication!! KW
I just looked over the pictures from your latest message on the BIP, they reaffirm what I have been preaching for years that we have indeed one of the most beautiful states in the entire nation. Every time we visit our kids in Texas it renews our appreciation for New York's diversified beauty. The work you have put into this book and its quality are beyond words. DF
I was wondering if you have a section of the book that talks about the volume of water that makes it to the Hudson and what happens to the water. From the Favorite Photos page: "Cohoes Falls is the highest and widest natural waterfalls on the Mohawk River. It is hear that the Mohawk River drops some 70 feet into the Hudson Valley. Most of the year there is only a trickle of water coming over the falls." What is the reason for "only a trickle" most of the year? BTW, I would vote for Little Falls on the back cover, it is indeed an interesting place! Keep up the good work and thanks for the continued up dates. And thanks for making me smarter about the Mohawk. BT
Just about all the water is used for the Canal and for the Cohoes Power Plant, leaving only a trickle to go over the falls. When the Canal closes November-May the water goes over the falls and through the power plant. I don't have the water volume, but you can find it on the Internet. Thanks for your kind words about the BIP. Paul
Future of Plantation (Lock 18) Island Looking Good
My name is Gary Bullis , I'm sure Bill Lloyd has told you about me and what is going on at Plantation Island. Bill has relayed to me that you both had a conversation recently and you stated that someone has been clearing a part of the trail on the island, preceding east towards Fort Herkimer Church. Could you give me anymore detail on who was there? I would like to know for that I would love to enlist in their help and equipment to work with us on the rest of the trail we will be working on. Rest assured Paul, we will not disturb any historical artifacts or the like for what we have in store for the island "FINALLY" The Herkimer County Conservation Alliance pushed to have the state acquire the island and after many years of meetings on implementing a plan for the island, the HCCA today will finish the work that was talked about for so long. In conservation, Gary E. Bullis President, Herkimer County Conservation Alliance
I don't know who cleared that part of the trail. Who ever it was, had a heavy duty brush whacker and a lawn mower or weedeater. Looks like it was done a year or so before I saw it in January 2002. And they must have brought it to the island by boat. I asked the guys at Lock 18 and they didn't know. Incidentally, the cleared part of the trail preceded east, on the north side of the canal, opposite Fort Herkimer Church. It ends at the Herkimer end of the Island, where the only access is by boat. (or ice during very cold winters) I very much appreciate your enthusiasm for protecting Lock 18 Island, and providing access trails. It's an amazing place.Paul
As of May 10, 2005
Regarding Selecting Photos
There are many. In addition to the two photos that you favor, here are a few of mine. As you can see, I favor the natural beauty of the Valley. Chapter 13, the waterfalls in Boonville Gorge on the Lansing Kill (this is set as wallpaper on the laptop). Chapter 12, Canoeing Schoharie Creek. Chapter 11, Fishing a pool above East Ava Road. Utica to Schuyler-Great Blue Heron. Chapter 15, the fisherman and smallmouth bass. The photo I like of canoeing on Schoharie Creek is the one with a canoe and fishermen in the water as well as a canoe drawn up on the shore. And still one more--the grandkids sitting in the waterfalls. BTW, I enjoyed looking over the photos again. AM
Many of your choices are also my choices. Paul
I like the wild section for the back cover. Either of the other two for the front. Great shots. DP
Paul these pictures are great and I like your choice for the back cover it looks very peaceful. BN
I like your choice of pictures for the covers of the Mohawk book. I am partial to the picture of Little Falls for the back cover. But I can see that it is a hard choice because the other one is so beautiful. To look at it another way, you might pick up more sales locally if you use the LF picture. JD
Responses to the back cover photos are interesting. Historically minded readers prefer Little Falls and Outdoor folks prefer the Wild River section. My problem is that I am both. Regards the back cover boosting sales in Little Falls. Heh, if I use the other photo, it might boost sales among "wild" people. Paul
That's the trouble with having so many pictures that are excellent, hard choices to be made. I love that one of Little Falls. It is better than a map. JD
Enjoyed the picture of the The Nose. I have read that it was a favorite place for great Indian orators to speak from and that a multitude gathered to hear them. Have you done anything on this factor? EH
I haven't read anything about Indian Orators at The Noses. Where did you read about that? Paul
I think you should consider the photo of the guy sleeping in the tree as a possible for the back cover, it implies "the end" of a long journey, but then again, it could depict just an old man taking a snooze or hiding from his wife who has a list of "honey do" items. DF
I've been thinking about those pictures. I think the beautiful picture of the river should be on the back cover. Also feel that the picture of you discovering the source should certainly be a large photo in that chapter. As for the folks who joined you on your many discovery trips, it would be nice for each of them to appear in the appropriate chapters. I don't know how many photos you can include? AM
I'm not pleased with the quality of some of the "explorer" photos. It's difficult to take a quality photo when it's raining or snowing. However, each photo tells part of the discovery story, and that's important too. Paul
Looks like a great book and it will be difficult to select cover photos, they are all great. Looking at the chapter on Villages & Cities - looks like you have nothing for Herkimer - any particular reason? KN, Village Trustee
I originally planned to do a chapter on Villages and Cities, as I did in the KUYAHOORA book, but changed my mind because so much has been written about them, and because I'm running out of space. However, most villages, including Herkimer, are mentioned elsewhere in the book.
BTW, Herkimer was featured in the KUYAHOORA book. Paul
Regarding: " Alplaus Ė Dutch for "Eel Place.
You asked, " Wonder how the eels got up and over Cohoes Falls."
Eels migrate upstream as small, immature elvers, which have the ability to climb up rocks and over grass, etc. Being catadromous, eels can migrate easier and further upstream than mature anadromous fish. DG
Where can a Georgian Fish for Trout Near Amsterdam NY?
I will be visiting my wife's Grandmother in Amsterdam this weekend and have decided to take a rod and reel with me (mostly based on reading the information that you have written on the web). I wondered if you might have a recommendation of a creek that would be easily fished (wading) in a few hours (4 hours+-) on a Sunday afternoon by someone who is totally unfamiliar with the area. I am from north Georgia and fish with fly rod and spinning rod for trout so I can take whichever rig is most effective. Any information that you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time and thanks for the information that you provide on the web. JG
Take a look at: http://www.paulkeeslerbooks.com/CayaduttaCreek.html
Right now West Canada Creek --- which is really a river --- is much too high, but that could change in a week or so. Also at this time of year spoons, spinners and bait work best. Of course you will need a good map or atlas of the area. Good luck. Paul
Trenton Falls Scenic Trail
I got to Trenton Falls on Sunday. It was a dreary day but I took a few photos anyway, I heard the pipes were shut off so there may have been a little extra water. We heard and saw a hugh chunk of the High Falls break off. That was right when my good camera ran out of memory. You and the readers of your website are welcome to look at the pictures http://www.atree4u.com/trenton_falls/ Clicking on the medium sized picture gets the full sized picture. BH
I enjoyed your website very much, will look for your books at the bookstore. My family and I headed north to Trenton Falls area today (as a special Mother's Day outing), only to find no public access to the gorge or falls area. This is unbelievable. What is the status of current efforts to open this natural wonder up to the public? JM
As I've noted on my Web Site, and in messages in Heads Up Notices to Readers, the Trenton Falls Scenic Trail is only open two weekends a year; one weekend in the Fall and one in the Spring. The newspapers in the Utica-Rome area have been very good about posting the dates. And, you can get them at the Town of Trenton Web Site at: http://town.trenton.ny.us/content/index.php?module=DTP_Parks&func=display&id=36
Perhaps you can make the trip on one of the fall weekends when they are announced.The Trenton Falls Scenic Trail is a joint project of the Brascom Power Company (owners of the land), the Town of Trenton and a few dozen dedicated volunteers. They have done a fabulous job of building the trail, providing overlooks, providing signage and volunteer guides that explain the history of Trenton Falls. I hope this helps a little. Paul
Many thanks for your reply. It just seems a shame thata private concern is allowed to control such a
valuable natural resource in the area. It is like so many other natural areas around central New York...
especially lakes, where you must either buy a membership (at approaching $1000/year) or not have any
access at all. The Harvard web site "Geologic Overview of the Trenton Group" explains that even as early as 1883 (when the US was home to many more unspoiled areas than today) the Trenton Falls were considered one of the most valuable natural treasures of North America. How we let this slip from public control I don't know, but I will say it again: it is a shame. If CNY is serious about economic and cultural revival and attracting people, businesses, and even tourism to the area, then opening Trenton Falls as a State Park would be a fantastic place to start. It seems worthy of National Park status to me. JM
Who is John Lobdell?
There was an inquiry on your web site regarding John Lobdell from MK. Do you have her email address? I have some info on John Lobdell. There is some confusion between his ancestor, Joseph Lobdell, and my Joseph Lobdell and we are trying to sort out the discrepancy. Thank you, SB
I have misplaced the original message, but perhaps that reader will contact me again, giving me permission to pass on her email address to you. Paul
As of April 3, 2005
I was wondering if you could tell me were Blues Eddy was on the West Canada Creek? RD
Not sure. Could be at Blue Barn Bend or near the Blue Road Bridge. Paul
After visiting your Web site, I'm sure you can help me with the article I'm researching. The Rochester, N.Y. daily, the Democrat & Chronicle, is launching a city magazine this summer. I'm writing a short piece I pitched for the premier issue about unusual, surprising, or quirky places to visit that are within walking distance of the canal (for boaters). When I Googled the Auriesville Shrine, hoping to discover if it was within walking distance, I found your site. So...my first question is: Can you tell me if the Shrine is within walking distance of the canal (I'm guessing it isn't, but I'm asking anyway...)? Next, you are clearly very familiar with the waterways of Central New York. Can you suggest to me any offbeat, unusual or quirky places or businesses along the Erie/Barge Canal (must be within walking distance) from Albany to Buffalo? For example, in Pittsford, there's a little shop where a woman makes custom lampshades -- she's probably the only person in the state outside of NYC who does this. SB
You guessed right. The shrine is quite far from the Canal, high atop a hill. I don't know much about the Canal between Oneida Lake and Tonawanda. Take a look at the Stockade District of Schnectady. It's right next to the canal and was once a walled city. You could follow the path of the canal on my website to get some ideas. See the Canals Chapter. Paul
Would it be possible to share a sketch of your best guess as to Johnson's route from Oneida Lake to the Schoharie Valley in 1780? It sounds like you spent a lot of time researching that and I'd be interested in seeing what you believe his route was. JH
You are right, I did put a lot of time into plotting the path, but because it was just a sidebar of info and did not occur in the Mohawk valley, I did not develop a map. That would take a lot more time. I could provide you with the names of towns, etc along the way, and you can get an idea of my "surmised" route Incidentally, I tried a number of different roads getting around swamps, mountains and such, but the distance didn't change much. Paul
I've emailed a few people without much success, but maybe you know the dates that the Trenton Falls Gorge will be open this spring?????? I REALLY want to photograph the falls at this time of year. HB
The Trenton Falls Scenic Trail is scheduled to be open on April 16, 17 and 23, 24. Also check out this Town of Trenton Website. Paul
As of March 21, 2005
I enjoyed your website. I believe that distant grandfather John Lobdell had a grandfather Joseph Lobdell who was captured by Indians and Tories and made a waiter or servant to Captain Gilbert Tice or Tyce. Also John Lobdell's great grandfather William Gallt was scalped during the Cherry Valley massacre. If you have any information on the two families, please let me know. I would appreciate it if you let me know when your book is ready. MK
I donít have any information on the families you mentioned, but perhaps our readers do. If you continue to visit this website, you will definitely know when the book is ready. Paul
Hi my name is Jim Viau. I am doing some research on the internet about the West Canada Creek. From what I read you would be the expert on the matter. I am in search of a fine print or photograph of the Trenton Falls area. I was curious as to if you knew anyone or anywhere for that matter that might have something like this. Any guidance on this matter would be greatly appreciated. JV
I don't know anyone who has a "fine print or photograph of the Trenton Falls Area" but I will include your message in the Readers' Comments section. Perhaps someone will be able to help. Paul
Iíve seen references in your book Kuyahoora and several others to the 1934 Hudson Black River Biological Fish survey. Do you know where I could obtain a copy of this document? I am interested in assessing the past distribution of Brook trout in the Adirondacks. SD
Some DEC offices have them for reference only. Paul
Jack tells a good story. And he loves his Grandfather as well as the place by the river. PR
Loved Jackís article - aren't kids great - and so are grandparents SS
Paul , I have been fishing the West Canada Creek for about 38 years and still haven't fished it all --- as of yet. But during that time I have caught only two Brown Trout, downstream from Middleville. that had some crystals in them. Both were VERY GOOD size (one about 19" the other 22" ) And both were "hook jawed" males. JS
Where can I find a copy of the manuscript "The History of Hinckley, NY" by John B Pratt (1994) that you reference on your website? CC
I had borrowed John's personal copy. I don't know what happend to it after John's passing. Perhaps the Barneveld Library has a copy.Paul
As of February 18, 2005
I attended your presentation at the Yorkville library last Thursday night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I read your book, Kuyahoora "2-1/2" times.....perused it when my wife brought it home from the library in about 2000 and had to have my own. She purchased a copy and I read it through cover to cover back in 2000 and just re-read it again and took many notes of trips, canoe trips and hikes that I am planning with my boys. Needless to say, I enjoyed the book very much. You did a great job. I am looking forward to your new book. BS
I have been looking at your website and accounts of exploring the Boonville Gorge and upper Mohawk with great interest. My compliments on your excellent photography and interesting text. We are just beginning to field search for a route for the North Country National Scenic Trail, or North Country Trail, "NCT" for short, from Delta Dam to Boonville, Forestport and the "Blue Line" of the Adirondack Park. This hiking trail, when completed, will stretch approx.. 4,600 miles from North Dakota to Crown Point, NY. In part, it follows the Old Erie Canal Towpath Trail from Canastota to Rome. Now, we are looking north, as I mention, through the Boonville Gorge.
Perhaps you would be willing to help? It sounds like you already have a great many projects under way, but I think you could point out a great many interesting things to us---either in the field or from your notes. May I send information on the trail, the association and who we are (volunteers all - from many upstate towns)? MK-L
Sounds like a very ambitious project. Everything I have on Boonville Gorge is on the website. You are welcome to use any of it if credit is noted. I do not have the time to get involved, but I would like to hear about your progress in establishing a trail. Paul
I can relate to that story about your old friend Harold. My Mom just passed away in May of last year. She was 96 - we were farmers and did all those things. I also remember the "out houses, and that Sears Roebuck catalogue." I have sent your website to many - just a darn good job. I hope you keep adding to your book on line, and it never ends. SS
Harold Covey is one of our treasures here in North Gage.Some years ago, the Deerfield Historical Society began an annual recognition program in which Golden Pioneers were honored.These are long-time Deerfield residents who have positively influenced the town. Harold was among the first nominated & honored. GM
You got me again!! In referencing back through" What created the Mohawk Valley", my lady saw the picture of the "pothole" - we are wondering where it (or they) are located and are they accessable by folks less adventuresome and physically fit than yourself? Between your BIP site, maps, and the Sportsman's Connection books of fishing maps - i have more than enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life. - who said retirement was sitting on the porch?? Thanks for your site - it is a source of constant wonderment. RA
There is a parking lot at the end of Floral Street in Canajoharie on the east side of Canajohaire Creek. There is a fairly good trail running up stream to a spot that overlooks the pot hole
Looking forward to your new book. We were given a copy of the Kayahoora for Christmas a year ago.
Loved the story of your dog.. I too had a golden-irish wolfhound that I had to put down a couple of years ago and your story brought back great memories and tears but Buddy was a wonderful friend and will always be missed. He didn't know he was a dog, loved kids, people even cats! Also, the fishing stories, wow, does that bring back memories of my Dad at Raquette Lake. He was and educator but loved to fish and hunt. He was born in Herkimer and at one time had the largest lake trout caught at Raquette. I have to go back to your site many times..it is addicting! Good luck with the big C, keep up your humor as Cancer doesn't like happy people! NF
My grand daughter has been bugging me to go for Little Falls Diamonds again. Have you ever found any along the banks of the West Canada Creek from Middleville to Herkimer without going to the mines. We went to the mines and she is not into cracking rocks. As a kid, I went to Little Falls, Moyer Park, and Lovers Leap and use to find them in the dirt in the woods. That was a long time ago. I think there should be some along the banks that got washed down if you look hard enough. TS
I have never found Mohawk Valley Crystals a.k.a. Little Falls or Herkimer Diamonds while walking along the West Canada or any of its tributaries. I am sure they are there, especially on the couple of tribs that come down the rock outcrops on the Middleville side of the river, but I have never really looked for them. Paul
As of February 7, 2005
Iíve enjoyed reading your work on the web site, thank you. I hope to visit the area this summer.
I do have a question for you. Where was the Mohawk village Ossernenon located? You mention that new findings suggest that it is near, but not on, the shrine grounds at Auriesville. BD
Dean Snow in his book Mohawk Valley Archaelogy - The Sites considers the Bauder Site to be the most likely location of Ossernenon and provides the following:
"The Bauder site is located in the town of Root, Montgomery County. It lies east of Currytown Road on a spur of land overlooking Yatesville Creek, and covers an area of about 8700m\2." and "The site appears to have been occupied through the entire A.D. 1635-1646 period."
I was born in Mohawk, raised in the Valley and Adirondacks until 13 then the family moved to Alaska, but the memories of the Maples and Adirondack Lakes linger on. Although Alaska is probably the most scenic place in the world, the childhood memories will not be forgotten. I just wish I'd paid more attention to my Dad's History Class. Your book looks like a good one! When is it going to be ready? NF
I am an avid trout fisherman, using the ultralight spinning reel technique. I have been following your stories on the tributaries series for about 2 years. I greatly enjoy your detailed accounts of the various fishing expeditions you have taken. In particular, I am interested in Cayadutta Creek. I was born and raised in Johnstown NY with the Cayadutta Creek basically in my back yard. I am amazed by the dramatic recovery of this stream through hundreds of years of neglect and pollution. I have faithfully fished this stream over the past 3 years and have caught some amazing trout and experienced the beauty of this stream basically from the mouth to its origin. BB
As of January 28, 2005
You may have heard about a new book about the Erie Canal that is coming out, Wedding of the Waters by Peter L. Bernstein. The State Council on Waterways is hosting a book party to celebrate the book's publication. We extend an invitation to attend to people interested in the Mohawk Valley at: www.scow.net TR
Just wanted to thank you for sharing your writing with us. I am originally from Clark Mills, NY and just finished devouring your words. Thank you for taking me back in time and making me think of so many fond memories. SS
I love your emails on the Mohawk - particularly the historical ones. I have a copy of your book Kuyahoora. We have a camp off Route 8 on Morehouse Lake. It's just southwest of Piseco. Living in Bridgeport (northeast of Syracuse), we travel Rt 365 going to camp. Your book was enlightening about that whole area. I still can't get over the change in Hinckley from it's heyday in the early 1900's to even the 1950's when I started going up there. JH
I saw an abstract for your book "Kuyahorra" and notice that it mentioned Trume Haskell therein. Trume was my Great-Uncle, his wife was my Grandmother Bertha Worden Lindsay's sister, and as such I'm wondering how much content pertains to Trume? Also, are any of the photos of Trume's camp on West Canada Creek and/or the cable car that crossed the creek there? BL
There is quite a bit about Trume and the camp in the Kuyahoora book. Also a few photos. I spent some time there hunting with his grandsons. Paul
As of January 15, 2005
I discovered your website from a column written by Bob Cudmore in his "Focus on History". I have had the opportunity to briefly scan your website and found it to be fascinating. My Dutch lineage, on my maternal grandmother's side dates to the very early settlement of Schenectady. But today I'm writing with a question My husband's gr,gr,gr,gr grgrandfather was Constantine O'Rourke. He settled in the Palantine Dutch region 1799-1800. He was a man of means, he sailed in his own ship from Ireland, and was quite a "horsetrader" as well. His daughter, Bridget O'Rourke King, followed in 1820. Constantine died around 1840. He was buried near Auriesville, according to family lore. My husband, Ed, and I have "hunted" for him for years. I did find he had many land holdings listed in Fort Plain assessor's office but, apparently, had some bad dealings with the Palatine Dutch and lost everything. I have never found info on his second wife, Ann McManus either. If the name rings a bell could you please email me. We would greatly appreciate any assistance you could give us. SK
Sorry but the names you mentioned do not ring a bell with me. However, I avoid genealogy because it leads down so many paths I would never finish this book on the Mohawk Valley. You might check with this new website. http://www.ny-genes.com/ Paul
We have been enjoying your Erie Canal stories. We especially liked the one where you told about the lock mechanism. JD
Just finished reading the new BIPs. Good job and should pique readers interest in visiting the various lock sites. I though the simplicity in which you explained the lock operations was excellent. After all, they
are amazingly simple and reliable, albeit impressive to behold. BM
Have you done any research about the military road that cuts across Montgomery, Herkimer, and other counties? I remember driving down that road with my father and seeing a plethora of wildlife. ND
Yes I have. This road was built, starting in 1803 as a State Settlement Road, to allow settlers to travel into northern Oneida County, Lewis, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. It was used during the War of 1812 to carry men and supplies from Albany to Sacketts Harbor. In Herkimer County it was named the Military Road in the early 1900s. I don't believe it is called Military Road in any of the other counties. Usually it's called State Road, which of course it was. While some stretches are still used today, much of it is either seasonal road or trails through the woods. And as you noted, good places to see wildlife. Incidentally, I wrote about this road extensively in KUYAOORA - DISCOVERING WEST CANADA VALLEY. Paul
As of January 2, 2005
I looked at your website and found it very interesting. During my quick visit I did not find any mention of the VanAlstyne House located in Canajoharie. Have you included it and I just missed it or is it missing? A book by Edmunds (The Matchlock Gun) tells a story of the VanAlstynes' in the 1750s and there is no reference to the book in your writings. FV
I missed it. Paul
The photography you have chosen for these books are breath-taking, Thanks for keeping me up to date. GM
I like your piece on the canal, the usage of it certainly is changing. St. Johnsville has the original off-river harbor, built by the people who worked on the deepening of the canal at midpoint so they could store their equipment. Now every community up and down the canal are putting in recreational places too. Because of the prices of fuel, the traffic on the canal has really diminished the past few years. St. Johnsville still has more services available than stops for many miles around. JB
I grew up in Barneveld, NY in the 1960's, not far from Trenton Falls. I have just begun research on what is believed to be an Iroquois Indian Burial Ground in that area. I was astounded by your knowledge of the area and the books you have read. I discovered your website while using Yahoo Search. Before I was born, my older siblings spoke of a very large cash of Indian arrowheads and other Indian artifacts that were unearthed in the field, next to our barn, when the field was plowed for planting. This was about 1950. I am not versed in the art of research. I am a U.S. Border Patrol Agent by profession, in San Diego, California. so, I am well outside of my area of expertise. However, I have become intrigued by this mystery and would truly like to resolve it. I was hoping you might recommend a particular book or paper which may shed a little light on this, if there are any writings of that nature available You are perhaps the most knowledgeable resource I have come across in my research thus far.
I believe there was a seasonal Indian village in that area for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years because of the abundance of fish below the falls during spawning runs. I have read one legend referring to a Mohawk Indian village in that area. However, I know of no documented evidence of an archaeological site in that area. And while I was working on the book KUYAHOORA - Discovering West Canada Valley, I was unable to locate anyone who found Indian artifacts in that area. Please keep me advised of the progress of your research. Paul
As of December 14, 2004
Thank you for sharing the book in progress. The photos are wonderful and the information covers quite a bit - great job. Was any mention of Erie Canal Village in the book I missed, or will it not be included. Since it is the start of the Erie Canal, I thought it would be important. Also visitors still have an opportunity to take a canal boat ride as they would have many years ago. MM
Although Erie Canal Village is just outside the Mohawk Valley watershed, it is so significant in the history of the valley, I will definitely include it in the book. Paul
Your reader who is looking for One Quarter Mile to Go--The March of the Tryon County Militia and the Battle of Oriskany can find two used copies right now at Alibris.com. AM
Regarding the inquiry on One Quarter Mile To Go, to read : In addition to the libraries in Utica and Herkimer, he can try the Mid-York Library System via a local library. They will ship it to the local library. BL
While Liberty March: The Battle of Oriskany is currently out of print, DH should be able to find a loan copy from several of the local libraries and historical societies. AF
As of December 8, 2004
I am working on a novel about the march of the Tryon County Milita to Fort Stanwix. I would like to get your book One Quarter Mile to go--The March of the Tryon County Militia and the Battle of Oriskany. I have tried local bookstores and the Albany Library with no luck. Could you let me know where I can obtain a copy? DH
That book is no longer in print, but is available at libraries in Utica and Herkimer. Coincidentally, I recently visited the Oriskany Battlefield to prepare for writing about the march and battle in this book. I trust you have read Liberty March - The Battle of Oriskany by Allan Foote. Paul
I moved to the Mohawk Valley and changed my email address, so please hook me up for the BIP. You and a certain lady have convinced me that this is better than the St Lawrence area to finish my days. I'm living in East Herkimer and it's tough having to look at the valley every day when I go out. This venture of yours has me hooked. I do have one question - what is that "airplane" on the hill all about? Is that someone's own personal backyard whimsy? I'm talking about what appears to be a jet on a pedestal north of Herkimer. RA
The plane on a tower near Newport is one of two Air Force tests sites. One is on Irish Hill and the other is on Tanner Hill. They are used to test airborne radar, and have been there since the 60ís. Paul
I grew up on Pullman Street, in the shadow of this old trolley bridge in Herkimer, New York. The trolley bridge crosses West Canada Creek. Do you have anything about the bridge in your book? Great book by the way. Can't wait to buy a copy or two. PD
Photographs and information about the trolley bridge are in Kuyahoora-Discovering West Canada Valley. Paul
I have enjoyed reading and using the BIP info sections right along. The search engine/tool would be useful considering the amount of info that continues to grow AL
I like the search engine. AM
Great used bookstore on Rt 69 between Taberg and Camden, on the right as you travel west toward Camden. Only open on weekends. Check it out. Five or six large rooms full of all kinds of books. Nice guy owns it. DP
There's a store that sells old and used books called the BERRY HILL BOOKSTORE. It's located in Deansboro on RT12B south of Clinton. MB
As of November 14, 2004
Lock 18 Island should be the "Richard F. Morgan Wildlife Management Area."
As I reviewed your notes on Lock 18 (Plantation) Island in Chapter 13 of your Mohawk - Book In Progress, I was reminded of my active years with the Herkimer Co. Conservation Alliance. At that time in the early 1970's, and under the able leadership of its president, Dick Morgan, the HCCA worked tirelessly for the acquisition and protection of the island (then privately owned) by the NYS-DEC, and its promised development as a Wildlife Management Area.
Sadly, Dick Morgan passed away on October 28th at age 81, and while he lived long enough to see the island acquired by DEC to insure its future protection, the areas designation and development as
a Wildlife Management Area has yet to take place, despite the State's original promises and the amazing patience of the project's sponsors.
In order to honor this dedicated sportsman/conservationist, and in the hopes my action will put his adopted goal back on track, I've written to the NYS-DEC and respectfully requested that they officially
and legally change the name of Lock 18 (Plantation) Island to the "Richard F. Morgan Wildlife Management Area". It is my fondest hope that those who knew and worked with Dick Morgan, and perhaps some who didn't, will support and pursue this suggestion. The memory of this fine man,
and his hopes and efforts for this most worthwhile project, deserve noless. BL
As of November 7, 2004
As this project draws to a close for you, know that you have touched so many with this magnificent adventure. About a month ago, I drove up from home in the Hudson Valley to fish West Canada Creek, and met a couple of fishermen who had driven five hours out of Canada after discovering your website and the section on West Canada Creek. Their English was not good and my French is worse, so communications was not optimal. But the three of us had a fine afternoon on a gorgeous fall day. I was thinking on the drive back home that your book has international appeal. What was the likelihood that three fishermen from different countries would meet on your river, because of your book, and enjoy such a glorious fall afternoon? Thank you again for this magnificent work and for all your contributions to the Mohawk Valley and its outdoor wonders. Be well, and be assured that you have done spectacular and important work. JB
Made my day. Paul
As of October 31, 2004
I'm on your BIP list, and really enjoying seeing your book develop. As a refresher, I am a video/TV producer from New York Mills- "on the banks of the Sauquoit Creek" I am developing a presentation on our new project, a television program on places to explore in this area. I am asking you for permission to use one of your Trenton falls pictures - perhaps 'lower high falls". We will of course give you credit. KM
You have my permission? PK
Did you happen to find an abandoned cemetery (near Caroga Creek) in Newkirk? There was a church in Newkirk that no longer exists. The cemetery is supposed to be near the site of the church. My Great Great Grandfather August Hillie is supposed to be buried there. My mother's side of the family came from Garoga, Caroga, Rockwood and Ephratah. SP
No, I didn't see the cemetery. PK
It was nice to see your site and learn about the Mohawk Valley book project. It's very exciting and I wish you well. I checked out some of the canal sections, as that's a prime area of interest for me, and I thought I'd mention the fact that the former Barge Canal (1918-1992) is officially known today as the Erie Canal. When the "Thruway 2000" bill was signed into law in 1992 it transferred the administration of the New York State Canal System from the state Department of Transportation to the NYS Thruway Authority. A Thruway subsidiary, the NYS Canal Corporation, has managed the system since. The 1992 legislation also provided that the four individual segments of the state system would henceforth be known by their historic names: the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga & Seneca canals. Since then it's been proper to refer the stretch of canal between Waterford and Tonawanda (more popularly understood to be Albany to Buffalo) as the Erie Canal.
Today's waterway is the direct descendant of the historic "Clinton's Ditch" (constructed 1817 to 1825), and the Enlarged Erie (1836-1862). It's virtually the same as the Barge Canal, but now known by different names. Many of the state and local highway signs along the Erie's route have yet to be changed, but presumably someday they will all be accurate once again. Good luck with your terrific project! TR
Thank you for the info on the New Erie Canal. PK
As of October 18, 2004
I have been interested in the Rome Sand Plains for years. (As well as many other places in the Mohawk Valley region.) After taking a 5-mile hike throughout the Rome Sand Plains yesterday, I decided to go onto the Internet to learn more about ancient Lake Iroquois and how the sand plains were formed. I came upon your site, and read with great interest all that was written about the geology and natural history of the region. It is excellent!! Thank you !! Please put me on your list of purchasers for your book when it finally gets published. JR
I am a professional artist from Brazil, based in NY and presently doing an artist-in-residence at Sculpture Space a non-profit organization in Utica. I am here for a two months art project and I am very interested in learning more about the Erie Canal as the water line that connects NYC to Utica is the subject of my art project for the residency. I am planning to make a video recording of the canal, and would like to know who should I get in touch with. CV
I have put our visitor from Brazil in touch with several people who can help her.
Regards Trenton Falls Scenic Trail
I received many messages about the special Heads Up Notice about the Trenton Falls Scenic Trail, and from people who went there and/or saw the BIP addition. Following are some of the comments.
- Thanks for this info - now if I can remember it next spring! I've been asking about the falls and was told all the area was private and no one was allowed near. This is great news! Thanks! JH
- Thank you for sending this site to me. I went right to the Trenton Falls link as we were among the folks hiking the gorge last weekend. Anxiously awaiting the opening in the spring so we can bring the grandkids and do it with them. LA
- Went great!. Got a bunch of digital pictures, poked around and looked for fossils here and there, found quite a few, left 'em all there. It didn't really stop raining, but it was just a light drizzle. Can't wait to see the falls next spring. HR
- Went there Sunday. Great! But 100-plus years too late. DP
- Really enjoyed your page on Trenton Falls especially the photos. Did you take those very large?. Would love to print a couple and have them in the house...Really doing a super job. SS
As of October 12, 2004
I look forward to the e-mailed segments of your research. I donít look forward to the end of the e-mails as I enjoy them so much. However, do you have a projected publishing date ? When you do have one, will you let us know ? Many of us need to know so we can plan on your book for holiday or special day gifts.Write on ! BP
I plan to have the book published by the Fall of 2005. Paul
Thanks for your fine book project on the Valley of the Crystals. I came across it trolling for more information on the making and selling of "black salts," and you made it clear to me. I will cite your work in my own book of family and local history? JB
Just visited the castle and waterfall with my wife and sister-in-law yesterday. Wondering if you had contact info for the owner of the castle. Would love to know more about its history and any plans on restoring it. It seems to be a hangout for local kids, and is suffering for the attention. CT
I have no new information on Old City Falls, other than it is now well posted. Paul
Loved your article on fishing with Grandkids - that was some fish SS
I was just reading the excerpts of your book in progress, Discovering the Mohawk Valley. I presently live in Nebraska, but I grew up in Stittville--left the area in 1966. My brothers used to fish Nine Mile Creek every day of fishing season and you sure did take me back to days of my childhood by your descriptions. Once I tubed from Stittville to Rositser Road Bridge. I was amazed how different the perspective was from the water rather than from the roads. As a matter of fact, back in the early 1960s a group of Stittville kids swam at our secret Swimming Hole in the Nine Mile nearly every single day of summer. We would meet there around 1 p.m. every afternoon. We even built a diving board and pitched a tent one time. In the evenings we would meet around 8 p.m. and listen to records in the 3-stall cement floor garage and dance until 11 p.m. Ah, the good old days. Thanks for bringing back the memories.
As a sideline, I had four brothers. Especially, my brother John would always catch his limit of trout every day he fished. They would also bring home "suckers" and we would plant them in the vegetable garden near the corn. Most times my brothers just used worms for bait. Please let me know when you get your book published. JC
As of August 24, 2004
More on Mohawk River Floating Pike Poles
No doubt about it (they were pike poles) and the wonder of it all is, another (number 5 that I know of from our stretch of river) was found just this past week during the flooding. It is the finest of them all. Mint condition, the same tip at the rest, except that this one has a slight bulge at the end of the handle. My guess is that this was to help keep it from getting pulled out of your hands, kind of like the wad of tape that hockey players put on the end of their sticks. ..didn't work well enough I guess. MH
Brings Back Old Time Adventures
My wife and I thoroughly enjoy reading about your adventures. We live in the Detroit area now but she is from Clinton, NY and I lived in Marcy for about 8 years before we were married and came to Mo-town. We spent many Saturdays and Sundays on West Canada Creek and Oriskany Creek with our trusty Coleman Scanoe. Now we are parents living in the Big City... but we often talk about some of the best days of our lives (before children) on the creeks... fishing and relaxing and understanding what truly matters in life. During our years in Central New York we also did some sight-seeing up around Dairy Hill (where the old fire tower once was) and up around the old Gray Reservoir (Black Creek Reservoir) which has quite a bit of history to it. We took a few splendid day-trips up to the Starr Hill/Remsen area... also rich in history as you well know. In addition...we had a couple of wonderful canoe trips on Nine Mile Creek from Holland Patent down to the Canal... one on trip we were almost decapitated by the (hard-to-see) wire across the creek that the farmers use. Anyway.... I could go on and on. As an admirer of all that Central New York has to offer... Keep up the GREAT WORK and know that you create smiles with your writing out here in Detroit. RL
I spent some time this morning reading different parts of the book. Who knew when I was growing up in Ilion there was so much history and that Ilion was just a tiny part of the Mohawk Valley? It was my world. Now, reading and looking at pictures and maps I find I lived in a wonderful place, full of fascinating stories. I cannot imagine the amount of work this book takes, but it's more than just interesting reading, you have put heart into it and brought together generations of people and made them real and I thank you. BB
More on the Lost Village
What fun you guys must be having! And what a great discovery. Wonder if you can find any archeologists to interest in a dig? Don't think UC has such a dept, maybe Syracuse? CD
I really do get excited about finding old stuff. It certainly would be a good place for a dig. Paul
Did you see the Cast Pipes in the creek that were left there when the Water System was first put in? I understand that at the time, there was no way of getting the extra pipes out so they still lay there. TM
Yes, we saw several lengths of the cast iron pipes. One was cracked in half lengthwise --- like an eggshell. Do you know where the Waterworks dam was located? Paul
Paul that certainly was an interesting article, and your photos were outstanding. You are getting
goooooood. Thanks for the invite to the page. SS
As of August 1, 2004
I just found your site. It's fascinating and wonderful. BM
As always, itís a refreshing surprise to get the latest literary tidbits from you. A good way to start the day. I just finished reading a bio of Alexander Hamilton & found out that he contributed & supported the founding of the school begun by the Rev. Kirkland but that he had never been there. Somehow, I had thought that he might have visited. Probably, you know this but I found it interesting. BP
Indeed, Alexander Hamilton never visited the school and later college that was named after him. Of course he was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr in 1804. Perhaps if he had lived longer he would have spent some time at the school. Travel was not easy in this area in the early 1800s. And he was a busy man. Paul
My mom was born & brought up on Craig Road in Clinton. She & her brothers used to slide down "College Hill" thru that stone arch over the sidewalk on the left as you come down. That was in the days before the "flexible-flyer" that you could steer ! ! ! GM
Mystery 12-foot Poles Found Floating in Mohawk River
I am a rowing coach on the Mohawk between Locks 7 and 8. Over the last few years a remarkable thing has happened---twice to me and once each to two other individuals I know. We have found floating in the river, butt end up a "peavey" (or pike pole) The pole is easily 12 ft long, with a wrought iron tip that has two points- one headed out and one hooked back. Were they used during turn of the century log drives on Adirondack streams and slowly worked themselves down? At least two of these have remarkably similar craftsmanship on the tip (I haven't seen the others up close). I'm sure that if we have found four, there must be many more out there. Know anything more? Know anyone interested n these things? MH
Considering how well preserved they were I suspect they were stored in an old warehouse or barn and recently washed into the river. Unless of course pike poles are still used today on the canal. I asked Phil Lord, New Yorkís authority on the history of the Mohawk River what he thought. He offered the following:.
Wooden objects in fresh water, especially if buried in muck, will stay in "new" condition forever. The iron tips may or may not do as well. The Erie Canal Museum in Rome has tips from 18th century bateau poles for comparison. If these are old poles, they need to be kept submerged or they will be destroyed in short order. The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vermont has lab facilities to preserve such items so they will not need to be kept wet. If allowed to dry, they are lost.
Follow up from MH
The first I found at least two years ago and was delighted with the find- it is a very useful tool in perfect condition. The second came this past spring and started all the talk. One of my freshmen coaches found it just as I did floating tip down in the river (maybe 6 inches of the shaft were protruding above the surface). He was excited because it was exactly like the one his coach in high school had found (he rowed for Burnt Hills which also rows on our stretch of river). His, however, had had at least 3 feet of the handle snapped off rather cleanly. A week or so after that a parent of a rower spotted me carrying one up from the dock having just used it to clear debris away from the up-stream edge during a flood and said that he had found one a few years earlier that looked just like ours. He also has a dock on our stretch of river and uses his for the same purpose. MH
More from Phil Lord.
Another idea: loggers in the 19th and early 20th century used such poles. The key is the tip. If he wants to send a photo to the Rome Historical Society with a note to compare to the ones Erie Canal Village had, it may shed light.
Poles like these were used to raise timber frames (houses, barns).
Fort Keyser & Stone Arabia
I came across your Internet book on the Mohawk Valley. I was particularly happy to see your article on the Revolutionary War (http://www.paulkeeslerbooks.com/Chap8Revolution.html). I have a few tidbits about the pictures from Stone Arabia that you have on the site. I grew up on the farm that Fort Keyser was originally located. Fort Keyser was probably built in the 1760's. The fort was dismantled in the 1840's when the present day house at the site was built. The stone from Fort Keyser was used as the foundation for this house. The cornerstone from the fort is a cornerstone on the house. The historical marker pictured on you website is actually located on the wrong (north) side of the road. The fort was actually located on the south side of the road. The foundation of the fort can still be seen in a pasture behind the barn. Since I left my parents home, the farm has been sold to an Amish family.
The Battle of Stone Arabia occurred about 1 mile away. Col. Brown died in the battle and is buried in a cemetery behind the stone Dutch Reformed Church located further north on Route 10. I believe other fatalities from that battle are buried there as well.William Smith, whose gravestone is pictured, fought in the Battle of Stone Arabia. The Smith (Schmidt) family, from which William Smith descended, was part of the Palatine Germans that settled the Tilboro (Dillaborough) area in the early 18th century. I am a direct descendant of William Smith. Thank you for the wonderful work on the Mohawk Valley. JJ
Links to the Southland
Please be so kind as to send a link to the email address below so I don't lose your site when I return home to Florida. I am visiting my daughter and on her computer and ran across your book in progress while trying to learn more about Moss Island. I'm a native (from Richfield Springs) and love to read history of central NY. I have bought many books published thru North Country Books in Utica. Thank you for helping me to not lose a link to your book. CW
You are doing a great job on this book. I learn a lot about this area where I have spent most of my 74 years. My brother-in-law who lives in No Carolina now is looking forward to the eventual publication. FS
Good By Old Friend
For whatever reason, I didn't read Good Bye Old Friend until just now. I wish that I hadn't. Damn, I got tears in my eyes and it isn't even my dog! I've owned a lot of Labs in my life, but the one I have now is my best, by far. His name is JoePaw He's one of the best pheasant dogs I've ever had, he's the most friendly dog I've ever seen (#2 isn't even close), his next bark will be his first bark (lousy watchdog), and he and I communicate better than I can with anyone or anything else on earth, even my wife. Joe's 10 yrs. old now and getting gray around the muzzle. I can read him like a book. And he can read me like a book. It's been a wonderful relationship. Hunting with Joe is a very special thing for me. And when I'm down in the dumps, he's always there to wag his tail, give me a lick, rub up against me, and let me know that he's my buddy. I especially love it when he looks back at me with a smile to let me know how happy he is (I'm not kidding, dogs do smile.) I'm not looking forward to saying goodbye to Joe. FN
As of June 26, 2004
You are doing one fantastic job with this website.......SS
Thanks for posting your account of exploring the Mohawk. I've saved it to my hard drive and have been referring to it frequently as I do my own explorations along the river and Erie Canal via kayak. I'm particularly interested in the early settlements, both Palatine and Iroquois, so the historical background you gave re: the area around the mouth of West Canada Creek made me want to get the kayak in the water and go have a look for myself. (I volunteered for a few years at the General Herkimer Home in Little Falls, so I feel like it's "my" history.) Your pictures and text will be good bait for enticing some of my kayaking friends to come with me to have a look at what's in their own back yard. HB
I was re -reading "Raspberry Pickers Revenge" and something caught my eye and my soggy memory. The lady who was scalped and lived could very well be my wife's ancestor. Her family has been in the Mohawk Valley since the very early 1700's. JS
I was just wondering if you remember the person's name at the Nature Conservancy who told you that the cut road/corduroy road across the Lisha Kill was used for tank testing during WWII. I am currently writing an archival report for the NYS DOT and would like to document this if it is true. Schenectady played a huge part in the war effort, I have seen images of tanks being manufactured there as well as paraded on the city streets. Besides the Armory to the south, there was an army depot to the west. I am just wondering if the Pine Bush area as a whole was used for tank testing. The CSX railroad goes right through the area as well as Central Avenue which would have provided easy access. ML
I lived on Sauquoit Creek between 1942 and 1950, on Chenango Road, New Hartford. I spent many hours playing along the creek, skipping stones and trying to hit or sink water striders. (Not possible!) Sometimes on the way home from school I would leave the highway (Campion Road, then) where the creek crossed and follow the creek to my house. I passed a small dam and waterfall upstream. Its course was meandering, changing from storm to storm, and year to year, with willow hammocks and wild iris in the spring.
Where the creek crossed Chenango Road it had a high bank built of stone on the Utica side of the wooden plank bridge. There were large metal rings fitted into this wall here and there. The other side, by my house, was low bank.In the summer the creek was a popular swimming hole for the Assyrian boys who lived in nearby Capron. They used to jump off the wall into the water in their birthday suits. In winter the creek often overflowed on our side, flooding the cow pasture behind the house so that we could ice skate on it. The water was clean then, although I do remember at least one fish kill, with the banks littered with dead fish.
The Citroux factory poured its waste into a small waterway just north of the creek. Maybe this runoff channel was created expressly for the purpose of waste disposal. It was evil-smelling with water as thick as mud--pink, red, green, blue--and a couple of junked cars. (I don't remember that this ever connected with Sauquoit, or just where it did go.)
Years later when I returned to the area I found that the top of Chenango Road had been leveled to build the new freeway. I was told that the hill had been dumped into the creekbed, and that may have been true, for I found the creek much different--shallower and smaller--than I remembered. There is not much of a creek there now. I think a lot about the stone walls with their rings. The rings must have been used for tying up boats, but I don't think the creek as I knew it was consistently deep enough to navigate. I wonder if they had something to do with the Chenango Canal. I've read what I can find about the canal, which seems to have run along Chenango Road, but can find no mention of Sauquoit Creek or that particular section of the canal.
I'm very interested in your book, and wish you continued success with your project. I will always want to learn more about my section of Sauquoit Creek and the Chenango Canal at that place, if you have any resources to suggest. CB, Medford, Oregon.
As of May 18, 2004
My family has a camp on Keyser Lake (on East Canada Creek), and it has been a haven of beauty for as long as I can remember. Even in the winter we would spend a week at a time at the camp, having to snowmobile in with provisions in tow-on sleds and people on tobagans.. it was quite a sight. I have navigated the entire lake and the northern end has the most spectacular scenery. I was told that the lake was man made. Is this true? (Yes) With all the surrounding scenery it seems too good to be true.. From the trees and flowers growing from the cliffs that surround the lake on the north shore to the abundance of different fish and other wildlife. I don't know if you had the pleasure of canoeing on the lake itself, because it is all private land, but I have some amazing pictures and would like to share them with you. There used to be a trestle that passed over the creek, it was no longer in use during my childhood. DM USN
Here is an update on the Canoe Fishing Program inspired by your Canoe-Fishing New York Rivers and Streams book. I was asked to run a spring program for 5-8 graders again this spring at Clifton Fine. I was also asked to run the program during the summer for Harrisville CSD and have agreed to do it. They will be kicking off their 21st Century program later this month. Their canoe-fishing program will be during July and August.
There are no firm dates for either program but did want you to know that I would like to have the same types of activities (canoe-fishing and field trips to the Adirondack. Museum and boat builders) as in the fall. I am limited to a single location because of the canoes, PFD's and insurance. Do you have any thoughts on other flatwater canoe-fishing sites that may be able to accommodate our group? I will keep you posted and if you are in the area, we would like to meet the author who signed our Canoe- Fishing books. LA
I "stumbled" upon your writings while trying to learn more about Trenton Falls. My father took me there many times as a young girl in the early 1950's. I have happy memories of that place....Dad fishing, while I climbed the rocks. Last May (2003) I was in Holland Patent for a family funeral. I stayed at the Sugarbush B&B and tried to "find" the falls. Of course I could not gain access....although I drove all around the area in my SUV. After asking the innkeeper for directions, she informed me that the falls and gorge were "off-limits" to the general public. On my return to Pittsburgh, PA where I now reside, I began an Internet search to learn more about Trenton Falls and the West Canada Valley. Your writings and photos are a treasure! AHC
My Hoover (Huber) ancestors lived in the Little Falls, NY area from c1760 until the end of WWII. I grew up in Buffalo, New York but often visited relatives in the Mohawk Valley area (Poland, Barneveld, Holland Patent). We camped at Hinckley and Racquet Lakes. I have fond memories of the area. Thank you for sharing your canoeing and fishing tales on-line.
I just read your chapter on searching for Andrustown. I descend from a long line of Palatine ancestors: Huber, Petrie, Klock, Kast, Kessler, Starhing, etc. According to family tradition, my direct "Hoover" ancestor Jacob Huber (b 1760) was in the Continental Army and was with the group that killed the infamous Walter Butler. I always wondered where Butler's Ford was located, and thanks to you, I now know! Jacob Huber is buried in the Old Yellow Church Cemetery. Do you know where the settlement of Remesnyder's Bush was located? My grandparents claimed it was north of Little Falls, but I cannot locate it on any maps. The Huber farm was supposedly located in that area. I also descend from John Eaton, one of the four brothers who "founded" the tiny settlement of Eatonville. AHC
I am graduate student at the University of Cincinnati working on my dissertation in geology. Because of my research on the Trenton Group, I was asked by the museum at Harvard to help put together a website on the geology, and social history (as it relates to geology and paleontology) of the Trenton Falls area. As part of my background research, I came across your book (Kuyahoora-Discovering West Canada Valley) on the Trenton region and asked our library here at UC to purchase it. It is an excellent book! Iin that volume you have an aerial photograph of the gorge showing everything for Sherman Fall up through the Spillway and Hydro-Dam. This image is excellent for showing the overall gorge and is excellent for illustrating the relative sequence of waterfalls. I am wondering if we might be able to use this image a couple of times on our website? I, of course will attribute the images to you and reference your book in the bibliography section of the website. If this is a possibility, would you be so kind as to email me and let me know? Also, as the images from the book are a bit texturized because of the cover, would you have a better quality digital image that you might send along?
Thank you in advance for any and all assistance you might provide. I think the aerial photograph would be an excellent addition to the site. Incidentally, the site is just about
completed, and it is intended that it go live by June. SC
Please add me to your list for updates on your book on the Mohawk Valley. What a great topic! Hope to be able to buy the book someday. CD Utica native
Your website says "The Mohawk Valley's largest freshwater minnow came to New York State from Europe by ship in the 1830s," but does not state for what purpose, or if it was an accident. I have read that in the Potomac River, carp were purposely introduced because the fish was considered a delicacy in Germany, from where many of the settlers came. However, like on the Hudson, carp were considered a trash fish from the start. DG
As of April 8, 2004
I commend you on your efforts thus far! I stumbled onto your site by accident, while looking for fishing info on the Mohawk River. Your site and book were a pleasent surprise As I am too old and crippled to follow in your footsteps, your wanderings and written observations are a treasure to me. I wish I had discovered the Mohawk even 15 years ago, I would have been able to experience some of the beauty and adventures that you are relating in your book and on your site. Thank you, oh so much. The info that you have presented so far, will enable me to enjoy some time at the local parks that the area has, and that you thoughtfully listed and described,. as well as, enjoy some bank fishing. My canoeing days are over, but I lived vicariously while reading of your adventures. Great fun !
Please include me on your heads-up notice list - you have me completely under your spell of story telling - you are great at it. I just read your farewell to Doolie - being an ex-musher - I can relate to your affection for your departed friend. RA
I was curious as to if you are from the Mohawk Valley. I am doing my husband's family tree. His first ancestor to come to Ohio from the Mohawk Valley was Peter Keesler. With the last names being the same, I was curious about any distant relationship, since I cannot find any info on Peter's family. In N.Y. in 1777, they did not keep birth certificates. I have enjoyed reading your inserts on the internet. MAK
As of March 10, 2004
I'm glad someone is giving Simms credit for what he did and how he did it. JD
Just a note to tell you how nice it was to read your story about Jeptha R. Simms. I have often thought that someone needs to write an entire book about the 19th and 20th century antiquarians of the Mohawk Valley while their are still a few people alive who remember some of them. Simms was an amazing man, and he has taken a great deal of malignment at the hands of more recent antiquarians and historians. Much of it, as you point out, is totally unjustified. The sheer volume of original information that he preserved vastly overshadows the work of any of his contemporaries. If some of that information does not hold up under modern historical scrutiny, it should not detract from the man's efforts on behalf of historic preservation.
A sad footnote to your article is that most of the historical collection that he sold to the State Museum burned in the Capital fire at the turn of the 20th century. I have frequently read the catalogue of that collection and lamented the loss of specific items pertinent to archaeological sites that I was researching.
Again, good job. This little article represents the kind of original historical contribution that we need more of in the 21st century. WL
We looked at Cobblestone Hall and couldn't remember seeing it when we lived in Fultonville, though we may have but didn't realize what it was!! The house itself, without the addition, does look familiar! Amazing what may be right under your nose and you don't realize what it is! MC
What a terrible addition to Simm's house. They must have used the same technique with most cobblestone houses. There are many of them in Western New York: Seneca, Tompkins and Steuben counties. It seems to me the cobbles are the same size, except for decorative sections. JP
I have moved back to New York State and now live in Little Falls. I enjoy your letter each week very much. Re: history of the Revolutionary War period, my wife's 5th removed grandfather, Geo. Robt.TwelvesHewes was a participant in the Boston Tea Party. He passed and is buried in Richfield Springs. MS
I have been researching my ancestors and obtained an obituary from the early 1900's of my Gr-Gr-Gr-Gr Grandfather named Conrad Charles/Charle Conrad. He was born in Germany and briefly settled in the Herkimer NY area. His obituary states he was a Mohawk Dutchman. I have searched the Internet and haven't been able to determine what the term means. He was born in Germany so he wasn't Native American. What is a Mohawk Dutchman? CM
I believe the Palatines were sometimes called Mohawk Dutch. Paul
Sort of like a new page in life when I read your new chapters ---- great job. I almost feel like I'm taking the walk with you thru the woods. Without all the gear for cold weather of course. I'm thinking of printing out a copy for my 94 year old Mom. I think she would like to take these walks with you too. By the way she has read over 200 books in the last year and half. SM
As of February 14, 2004
I am an amateur archeologist and flint knapper. I suggest that you look further then the Mohawk valley proper for the origin of the "people of the land of flint." I believe the picture on your web site is big and little nose by Palatine Bridge and at those sites are a variety of chert called little falls chert, and also a prehistoric site on the little nose side. This is from a conversation with the archeologist from the Iroquois Museum in Howes Cave N.Y. Also in the Schoharie river and its associated feeder streams are many types of flint, among them esopus, Onondaga,and snake hill all used from archaic to woodland eras. The little falls variety has a distinct sky blue variety that was used even in paloeo cultures and is found down the Schoharie drainage as far as Middleburgh N.Y.(personal finds) If you wish to obtain a translation or further information I suggest you check the site of the Kanatsiohareke (Gana jo ha lay: gay) Mohawk community ww.mohawkcommunity.com and the Iroquois Museum site. AK
What a pleasure to read all about your adventures along the Erie Canal and the old Railroad trail on the south side of Little Falls. I remember my mother's stories about the trains that ran that line. Mostly my grandmother cussing the trains that came through right after she would hang a line of wash out to dry, they would run their trains with coal and the smoke and soot they would emit was a little too much for my grandmother to stand. I was brought up in Little Falls and my four sons were brought up here too. As a kid growing up in Little Falls your adventures bring back a lot of sweet memories. M.A.S.G ( Millie)
I enjoyed your Fairfield raid chapter. That farm was known for years as the Robinson farm. I don't think the Robinsons own it now, even though some still live there. I think that a relative bought it from them. The old house in your picture might still be owned by Harold Robinson, I'm not sure. He runs a sawmill in there. The old farm house in your picture used to be called the Jackson farm, in the old days before it was incorporated into the Robinson holdings. JD
I had the opportunity to view some of your site work, and the pickup truck off the side of the road is on Route 29 in the Town of Fairfield, not Route 169. I can see Barto Hill in the background of the picture, and I have also driven past this numerous times. BL
You are so right. It is on Route 29. My typing fingers goofed. Paul
Folks who wished they lived in the "good ole days" can probably learn why life was tough and dangerous at times, such as the accounts of murders and raids around Fairfield. Nice job clarifying the two different accounts of the incident and also location. BM
As of January 27, 2004
Butler's Crossing --- This was so interesting Ė wonderful reading for a cold wintry day Ė BP
Enjoy your site immensely. I think I have found a "typo" on the first page of chapter 11. I believe the date should be "1912" instead of "1915" for the flooding of the area behind Delta Dam. That is the year the Great Dam was completed and when they closed the gates. Keep up the good and interesting work. RS
I do so enjoy reading the BIP additions.....thank you!!!!! Can you please put me on your mailing list? Good luck with your future adventures! DR
Fascinating chapter on Andruston. Is there anything in the records to indicate what happened to the captured Bell boy? RK
Wonderful history lesson. They ought to introduce your book into the school system. SR
At the Bend on Rt 167, (near Jordanville) there is a White house that use to be a Railroad Station. A lot of people tell me that there was never a train that went to Jordanville. I have proof there was. My grandfather was station master there. He worked for the D&H (Pennsylvania Line) as an Engineer and had a head on accident and was pulled off as an Engineer and made Station Master at that Station. From what I have been able to find out, there was a trolley line that went from Oneonta to Mohawk and this is what I think was what the building was. Even though my father always told me that it was a train station. TS
I'm doing a story on the History of New York Mills. The Sauquoit Creek was used to power early mills. I'm still working out the parameters...there is so much interesting stuff, I'm still trying to find where I need to limit myself. In the late 1800's NY Mills was a model mill town. Clean, beautiful, basically happy workers. The cotton produced by the mill Number 2 (behind the post office) set the standard. In fact it was the only material that could be sold with a "made in the US" label. All other US made textile were shoddy and needed foreign labels to be sold. In a few years all that changed. Living conditions deteriorated, wages did not keep up with economy and in many cases workers pay envelopes were short changed. In 1912 and 1916 there were labor strikes. The National Guard was called in... etc. KM
As of January 2, 2004
I found your site as I was doing on-line research for a documentary film I'm producing. I'm a native of New York Mills, I've always planned on taking some photos of the spillway across from Symeon's Restaurant. As you wrote "Just upstream from the bridge are pools and runs created by stone and concrete dams". . .and the remnants of an old spillway" BTW the "bamboo" that grows along the Sauquoit and near the Mohawk etc. is "American Bamboo" or "Japanese Knotweed". The botanical name is Polygonum cuspidatum. In the spring - early May ? the shoots look a little like asparagus. They can be cooked like rhubarb. After they get a foot or so high they get woody and not very good to eat. Keep me posted on the progress of you book. KM
I'm a 30-something female engineer who recently relocated back to CNY. Prior to this move, I was living out West (Wyoming-Idaho area), where I became fascinated with Native American history and archeology. Since moving back to Syracuse, I realized how much more I also want to learn about NYS, which lead me to your website. I appreciate your accounts of history, often paired with a fishing trip. I'm writing to you to hopefully open a dialogue as I learn more about the region, and ask you questions that I might have. I also very much enjoy fishing. My current question relates to an item I heard on the radio this past weekend. There was mention of a report being finalized on a recent archeological dig in the Oneida Indian region. I'm wondering if you have knowledge of this dig, but more specifically, where I might be able to find the report. Hopefully activity this recent is familiar to you and you might have some suggestions. FM
I've heard about the Oneida dig. It's in Madison County---outside the Mohawk Valley---so I didn't try to learn more about it. There is so much to learn about the Mohawk Valley watershed that I have to make a conscious effort to not get involved in "finds" outside that area, no matter how fascinating they might be. Good luck with your quest. And welcome back to Central New York. Paul
I just recently stumbled across your article "Not a Wasted Day" from November 01, 2000 where you describe your fishing trip on Oriskany Creek near Walesville. I lived less than a quarter of a mile from that bridge since I was about four years old, and fished, trapped and hunted that area until I was 20 and joined the Army. I crossed that bridge hundreds of times on my way to Westmoreland School and I also worked as a teenager on Jones' farm just to the north of the creek. My mother just recently sold the house I was raised in. DA
The books (Canoe-Fishing New York Rivers and Streams) are perfect. We are taking a field trip to the Adirondack Museum, so I will be giving them to students at a celebration luncheon following the tour. The 16 books we ordered will cover the number of students who will make it on the Museum trip. I am happy to tell you that there were more students attending the canoe-fishing program than I had originally expected and ordered books. We will be ordering 6 more books for the additional students that participated in the activity. I got the OK and filled out the school requisition for the additional books today as well. Can you please sign these books also so all students will receive an autographed copy eventually. One copy will also be placed in the school library. That's all the news from Star Lake, Today. LA
You can't know how much I enjoy your weekly updates! I never put some of the various interests together before, plus the photographs are superb. Thanks for keeping me up on your progress. JB
So, what make and year was the blue car and how did it get there? DM
Never did identify the model of the blue car or determine how it got in Fulmer Creek.Paul